Granite Countertops are Radon Hot

I knew it! OK, I didn’t really know it in the sense of knowing it. But I definitely knew there was something really bad about granite and now I know what.

You might remember a previous blog I wrote about granite kitchen and bathroom countertops, the gist of which was basically that they don’t rock. My main points were that they are a completely non-renewable resource and that mining is detrimental to the Earth. But underlying this point was a feeling that perhaps this granite craze could reap some karmic retribution.

And as you might know, granite is very popular. Apparently, everyone loves it, wants it, has got to have it. I can do without it, myself, thank you very much. I am even known to rant about it on occasion. So this morning, I find this story from the New York Times in my e-mail box: What’s Lurking in Your Countertops?

Ah-ha! Apparently, according to this NYT article, some granite countertops have been found to contain high levels of uranium, which is not only radioactive but releases radon gas as it decays.

In the past 10 years, as granite has gotten more and more trendy, demand has increased tenfold and to keep up with this demand there are 10 times as many kinds of granite available. The article says that with increased sales volume and variety, there have been more reports of “hot” or potentially hazardous countertops.

So not all granite countertops are dangerous, according to radiation expert Stanley Liebert. “But I’ve seen a few that might heat up your Cheerios a little,” he adds.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer my morning cereal nice and chilly. And I prefer my countertops made of renewable resources that aren’t radioactive. Bamboo, recycled glass or aluminum tiles–it’s all good. And it’s not radioactive. Healthy, and green. That’s what it’s all about.


W. C
W. C3 months ago

Thank you.

William C
William C3 months ago

Thanks for the information.

Bruce S.
Bruce S5 years ago

Now you not only have to worry about radon in your basement, you have to worry about radon in your granite counter tops. While just like radon in basements, it's not found in ALL granite, who's running the "Radon in granite police force?" There's no guarantee what you'll get.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Something to think about.

Bonnie M.
Bonnie M6 years ago

It is called CHEMISTRY.. thereby lurks the culprit. Radon gas is not to be dusted off as "not in my kitchen, love my granite countertop.'

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers6 years ago

Not very "Green"

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W6 years ago


Janice P.
Janice P7 years ago

I guess it is fortunate perhaps that I could not afford granite countertops. Who knew?